Service above self

SERVICE ABOVE SELF: Four Komani locals received vocational awards from the Lukhanji Sunset Rotary Club for serving the community in Komani with, from left, club president Adre Bartis, Spar owner Sandy Boy and club treasurer Reg Morgan        Picture: ANDISA BONANI

The Lukhanji Sunset Rotary Club rewarded four leadership pioneers in Komani who have been instrumental in assisting people in dreadful situations this year, especially in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The vocational awards event by the club, which took place last Thursday, reflected the work being done by the four people involved in serving the community.

President of the club, Adre Bartis, said it was their unselfish nature that saw them chosen among many, because they were people who, when their neighbour lacked something, looked at how they could help them and whoever else was in the same situation.

Bartis spoke fondly of SM Bodies and Welding Works owner, Shane Meyer, who she said was the voice and watchdog for businesses in the area he operated from.

“Businesses in the Masakane Centre in Stillwell Street and surroundings recently endured power outages for days on end due to a faulty cable, which led to revenue loss and wastage for establishments in the area. Meyer constantly liaised with the relevant people to learn what the problem was and how it could be resolved quicker for businesses to continue operating. He truly and innately cares for others and has been involved in other projects that were for the benefit of others. That is why his work is being recognised and acknowledged today.”

Last year Meyer initiated the cleaning-up of the Queenstown cemetery when he and many local businesses contributed to paying and feeding the labourers for two weeks.

Another award recipient was Mlungisi resident Asanda Lisa who Bartis described as someone who took initiative and conducted her community service work with diligence and without complaining.

“There had been complaints about the people standing in queues outside the Queenstown post office, about how they were making the area dirty and not keeping a social distance as required by law. Some people tried to explain to the complainants about how far the people had come and how some had slept on the roadside with small children because they wanted to be first in line the following day and did not have money to go back to their homes.

“It had been an ongoing discussion, even in council meetings, but one woman decided not to say anything, not complain, but reached out to the queuing people and provided sandwiches and juices to keep them going as they stood in the long lines. She did this diligently and without complaining. She received sponsors from local businesses to continue with her work and has been amazing. She has now embarked on a shoe box project that will have people in poor communities receiving Christmas gifts in decorated shoe boxes,” the president said.

The Rotary Club managed to collect a significant number of shoe boxes with gifts that were handed over to Lisa who said she was thankful for the kind gesture and support for the cause.

Top Town resident Loretta Kuscus was said to be someone who was silent about her good deeds and had a passion to assist struggling mothers with their children.

“She is someone who lights a room when she enters, but is also very reserved, she does what needs to be done and moves on which is why many people do not know about her. She has done so much for the people of Komani in her little corner, but does not put it out there for people to know.  I would get a message indicating that she is looking for baby clothes and I would not know what she was up to until I prompted her and found out that she had taken in a young single mother.

“She is always taking people in to assist them and will go out of her way to ensure they get the help they require. Looking after mothers and their children has always been her passion. Whenever I spoke to her about the work she did it usually involved moms with kids. With this award we would like to say we see you and your work and are proud of what you are doing for the people of Komani,” Bartis said.

The club treasurer, Reg Morgan, praised Lukhanji Super Spar owner Sandy Boy for the relentless work she had been doing for homeless children in Komani for years, without tiring.

“There used to be a hustle and bustle of young children up and down town begging for food years ago and that suddenly disappeared. People could have easily been under the impression that they had gone home, but if you went behind Spar you would see them being fed at Boy’s soup kitchen.

“Boy’s passion for  little children is what stood out for us at the Rotary Club. We have watched in amazement how, through her work at Spar, she has changed many children’s lives even if it is with a meal daily. There is no waste of food at Spar because it is consumed by Sandy’s little people. This is an award for you and your husband Derrick for doing an amazing job in Komani with those children.”

Morgan said the awards were merely an encouragement to the foursome by the club and to keep going.

“We understand that at times the kind of work you all do can be overwhelming, especially when there are people who depend on you for something. You are being awarded as people who go way beyond service above self,” said Morgan.

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